Rating: PG-13 by default

Season: Five
Up to Mea Culpa
Pairings: None

Warnings: Violent content

Disclaimer: So not mine… actually, I blame LuvinNickyStokes for this one. Once the idea got planted for the back story I couldn't shake it.

Summary: A house. A body. Eighteen years. Two investigators. What really happened in that house Greg and Grissom found in 'The Body' and 'The Search'? Here's the answer.

Speak to Me by SLynn

Grissom stood with Greg in the morgue, both men still and staring.

"So this is him?" Greg asked looking down at the remains laid out on the table before them.

Grissom nodded. It was nothing more then a skeleton. Less then a ghost.

This was their body.

"I still don't see how we're ever going to find out what happened there," Greg said shaking his head.

The remains were fairly intact and it was obvious that this man, and they'd determined that much at least, had died from blunt force trauma to the head. But beyond that they knew little.

They knew that this man had died about eighteen years ago and that the attack had likely occurred while the victim was sleeping. That a log from the fireplace downstairs had been the murder weapon. That it was left behind with the victim.

They also knew that the crime scene had gone untouched until they'd arrived at it by fate or chance or luck depending on who you asked.

Grissom thought it chance. Greg thought it fate. Everyone else thought it luck.

"But that's the job," Grissom said nearly enthusiastically, "We look at the evidence, at the picture and read the story. It's all here on this body and there in that house."

Greg looked at him waiting for more. Waiting to learn.

"We just need to get this body to speak to us."

December 12, 1987

Flora Marquez sat in the living room, a fire roaring as she sat in her favorite chair.

This was her comfort spot.

This was the place she retreated to when house got too cold. When the bed she lay in got too cold. When she felt like she did now.

Daniel had come home drunk again.

She could smell it on his breath when he'd arrived and knew that it would be a long night. And it had been.

It hadn't always been like this. Once upon a time she loved him. Once he loved her. Now he was indifferent and cold. And she was what? What was she?


So very alone.

He just didn't seem to care like he use too. That's what she didn't understand. Why didn't he love her? She'd never done anything but love him. She'd given her life to him. Gave him three beautiful children, all grown now. Kept his house for him, made his meals.

And what had he given her?


He'd done nothing for her in the twenty-eight years they'd been married.

Not one thing.

She suspected another woman.

It wasn't unheard of; he was still young enough for that kind of thing. It was the only explanation. The only reason he would treat her so coldly night after night. It was the only reason she could find.

And how dare he.

How dare he do this to her.

She was virtually a prisoner in her own home. Kept here by obligation and sense of duty. Love had once been the only reason she'd needed to stay by his side but it didn't seem like enough now.

And he didn't love her.

He couldn't love her and treat her this way. Like an item. Like an appliance. There to cook and clean for him, wait at the door.

She had a life too.

At least she use to have a life.

Now she shared his.

That wasn't enough. That was not enough. She deserved more then this. She deserved a life of her own. A new start. A new beginning. And it was him, he was the one keeping it from her. He was the one holding her prison in this life.

Without him she'd be free.

Flora Marquez, forty-eight years old, had reached her breaking point.

Without really knowing what she planned to do she took a log from the fireside and moved back up the stairs, down the hall and to the bedroom she shared with her husband.

She stood in the doorway watching him sleep realizing she'd done this before. Several times in fact. She'd stood in this very spot and watched him, willing herself to act, to free herself but unable too until tonight.

It was rage.

Rage at the lost years, the lonely days and nights, rage at his indifference to her that finally won out.

He never even fought back.

She'd hit him again and again and he'd never even moved.

Once her rage was spent she dropped her makeshift weapon and stepped back, pushing herself into the wall. Horrified at what she'd done.

Terrified and liberated all at once.

Still in a daze she moved mechanically throughout the house.

First she showered. Then she threw her clothes in the trash can out back. Next she packed.

She'd go to her sister's house.

She'd go to her sister's house in town and tell her that Daniel had left her. That was true enough. He had left her years ago. Left her to hold together a loveless marriage all by herself but not anymore.

In a few days she'd call her children and say the same.

They wouldn't question it; their father had always been as indifferent to them as he was to her. They never visited; they had their own lives now. Their own freedom.

Now she'd have hers.

Brass, Grissom and Greg all walked up to the modest house in one of the older neighborhoods in Vegas. It was small and run down and typical for the area.

"Are we ready?" Brass asked looking at the two of them.

Grissom just nodded in return and Greg took a deep breath.

Brass knocked once sharply and before he had the chance to repeat the action an older woman opened the door.

"Mrs. Marquez?" Brass asked.

"No," she returned, "I'm her sister Velma. Is there a problem officer?"

"We need to speak to your sister ma'am," Brass returned and she ushered them into the small living room.

"I'll get Flora for you," she said before offering them coffee and refreshments.

Each declined politely and not one of them took a seat. Soon enough Velma was back with another woman at her side.

Flora Marquez, sixty-six, stood before them.

She looked first at Brass and then from Grissom to Greg. Meeting each of their eyes momentarily before shaking her head slowly and sinking down into the nearest armchair.

"You found my house."

The End